His ideal-typical bureaucracy, whether public or private, is characterized by: Weber listed several preconditions for the emergence of bureaucracy, including an increase in the amount of space and population being administered, an increase in the complexity of the administrative tasks being carried out, and the existence of a monetary economy requiring a more efficient administrative system.
Although he was not necessarily an admirer of bureaucracy, Weber saw bureaucratization as the most efficient and rational way of organizing human activity and therefore as the key to rational-legal authority, indispensable to the modern world.
Instead of the inefficient and often corrupt system of tax farming that prevailed in absolutist states such as France, the Exchequer was able to exert control over the entire system of tax revenue and government expenditure.
Thomas Taylor Meadows, Britain's consul in Guangzhou, argued in his Desultory Notes on the Government and People of China (1847) that "the long duration of the Chinese empire is solely and altogether owing to the good government which consists in the advancement of men of talent and merit only," and that the British must reform their civil service by making the institution meritocratic.
Influenced by the ancient Chinese imperial examination, the Northcote–Trevelyan Report of 1854 recommended that recruitment should be on the basis of merit determined through competitive examination, candidates should have a solid general education to enable inter-departmental transfers, and promotion should be through achievement rather than "preferment, patronage, or purchase".
Under Louis XIV of France, the old nobility had neither power nor political influence, their only privilege being exemption from taxes.The 1980s brought a backlash against perceptions of "big government" and the associated bureaucracy.Politicians like Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan gained power by promising to eliminate government regulatory bureaucracies, which they saw as overbearing, and return economic production to a more purely capitalistic mode, which they saw as more efficient.Weber saw bureaucracy as a relatively positive development; however, by 1944 the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises opined in the context of his experience in the Nazi regime that the term bureaucracy was "always applied with an opprobrious connotation," 325) claimed that Diocletian's reforms led to widespread economic stagnation, since "the provinces were divided into minute portions, and many presidents and a multitude of inferior officers lay heavy on each territory." After the Empire split, the Byzantine Empire developed a notoriously complicated administrative hierarchy, and in the 20th century the term "Byzantine" came to refer to any complex bureaucratic structure.In China, the Han dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD) established a complicated bureaucracy based on the teachings of Confucius, who emphasized the importance of ritual in a family, in relationships, and in politics.Mill referred to bureaucracy as a distinct form of government, separate from representative democracy.He believed bureaucracies had certain advantages, most importantly the accumulation of experience in those who actually conduct the affairs.The public administration in many countries is an example of a bureaucracy, but so is the centralized hierarchical structure of a business firm.Various commentators have noted the necessity of bureaucracies in modern society.Thinkers like John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx began to theorize about the economic functions and power-structures of bureaucracy in contemporary life.Max Weber was the first to endorse bureaucracy as a necessary feature of modernity, and by the late 19th century bureaucratic forms had begun their spread from government to other large-scale institutions.